Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

Homemade Cherry Pie

Learn how to make the best homemade cherry pie from scratch! With a buttery flaky pie crust and juicy cherry filling, this is the essential summer dessert! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Welcome back to the Monthly Baking Challenge!

This month is all about the summertime essential. And no, I’m not talking about sunscreen. Though sun safety is equally as important as dessert, right?

Anyway. We’re all making a big ol’ cherry pie this month.

  • Zero canned filling.
  • Zero store-bought pie crust.

All from scratch because YOU CAN DO THIS.

Learn how to make the best homemade cherry pie from scratch! With a buttery flaky pie crust and juicy cherry filling, this is the essential summer dessert! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I love baking pie. You already know this. But this wasn’t always the case. Up until 4 years ago, baking pie from scratch was foreign to me. Something for the bakeries, certainly not me. Pie crust? Forget about it. Homemade filling? Nope. It’s all too complicated and scary.

But guess what? Baking pie is not too complicated and it’s certainly nothing to fear. In fact, after having lots of practice– I now think of baking pie as my own little cheap therapy sesh. Something about mixing that pie dough by hand, rolling it all out, making cute pie crust designs, and smelling that glorious fresh-baked pie in the oven is therapeutic for me. It’s my me time; something I enjoy doing just because. No other baked good gives me the content satisfaction that pie does. PLUS it tastes pretty damn good no matter which flavor’s on the menu.

And that’s why I wanted to share this cherry pie recipe as July’s baking challenge. Out of all pie flavors and varieties, I feel like cherry pie is where most depend on canned filling. Which is certainly delicious and convenient! But that’s the challenge– making it with fresh cherries.

See how approachable it is in this quick video we shot last month!

 

 

Not so bad, right? Plus I’ll be making it from start to finish (pie crust, filling, shaping the crust, decorating, baking, etc) today on my Facebook  page at 1pm. (update: here is the Facebook cherry pie video tutorial!)

Fresh cherry pie filling for homemade cherry pie on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Fresh cherry pie filling for homemade cherry pie on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Which Cherries to Use

The cherry filling can be made with your favorite cherry variety. I chose a mix of rainier cherries and dark sweet cherries. You can use all rainier or all dark sweet– or if you opt for sour cherries, add a little extra sugar. See my recipe note below.

Pitting Cherries is Definitely the Pits

You’ll need to pit your cherries and if you feel like spending 3 hours doing this without a pitter, go right ahead. But let me tell you– you will save so much time (and headache!!!) using a cherry pitter. And guess what? I’m giving away a cherry pitter, along with 5 other pie tools, right now! Hop on over here to enter the cherry pie tools giveaway.

What Else?

Not much goes into the filling besides sweet cherries. Some sugar and cornstarch to sweeten and thicken, respectively.  Since we use enough cornstarch for stability, this homemade cherry pie is the perfect amount of juicy. It’s solid enough that you’ll be able to cut some gorgeous slices, but still tender and oh-so-juicy. Also inside? A squeeze of lemon juice, a bit of vanilla, and my favorite addition of all: almond extract. Cherry and almond extract are a power flavor duo!! A pairing you most certainly need to try in this homemade cherry pie.

Homemade pie crust for cherry pie on sallysbakingaddiction.com

You’ll use my standard pie crust recipe. As the base of pie, pie crust is in every single bite. So it’s pretty important to use a pie crust recipe that not only WORKS, but tastes pretty epic as well.

My recipe makes 2 pie crusts: one for the bottom and one for the top. I wrote an entire tutorial on this buttery flaky pie crust a couple years ago. Warning: that’s a very long post! But it discusses common questions, issues, and solutions for making pie crust from scratch. A must read if pie crust intimidates you!

Learn how to make the best homemade cherry pie from scratch! With a buttery flaky pie crust and juicy cherry filling, this is the essential summer dessert! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I made a simple lattice design that you can see in these pictures and in the short video above. Suuuuper simple. Decorate the pie however you’d like.

Don’t Forget the Extras!

Butter: Dot the pie filling with little cubes of butter before baking. Why? Um, because butter is delicious. No but seriously, a little butter enriches the flavor of the pie filling. And it also helps prevent the formation of lots of bubbles on the surface of the filling.

Egg wash: The egg wash is brushed on top of the pie crust. Do you know the point of an egg wash? It’s to help develop a gold brown crust. Without it, the pie crust will brown but will look quite dull and lackluster. An egg wash, which is a mix of milk and egg, creates that golden sheen and even gives the crust a little extra crisp flavor.

Coarse sugar: Because doesn’t everything deserve a little sparkle?! You can totally skip the coarse sugar but I’m partial to sparkly pies. 🙂

Learn how to make the best homemade cherry pie from scratch! With a buttery flaky pie crust and juicy cherry filling, this is the essential summer dessert! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Marbles and speckles of butter in the homemade pie dough = layers and layers and layers of flakiness!! I promise you don’t get this level of flakiness with store-bought.

Bake the pie until golden brown. I prefer to use a glass pie dish (which is also included in the giveaway happening right now!) so I can see when the sides/bottom of the pie crust are browning. Whichever pie dish you use, the pie will take about an hour. The downside? Waiting for the darn thing to completely cool.

But it’s all sooooo worth it. You’ll see!

Learn how to make the best homemade cherry pie from scratch! With a buttery flaky pie crust and juicy cherry filling, this is the essential summer dessert! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Learn how to make the best homemade cherry pie from scratch! With a buttery flaky pie crust and juicy cherry filling, this is the essential summer dessert! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

If you’re not into today’s recipe, here is the alternate July Baking Challenge:

After you made the baking challenge recipe or alternative, share your photos throughout this month using #sallysbakingchallenge on Instagram or email me, tweet me, or upload a photo of your recipe to my Facebook page. And tune in today, July 1st, to my Facebook LIVE (on my FB page) at 1pm ET where I’ll walk you through the whole recipe start to finish! See you soon.

Homemade Cherry Pie

Ingredients:

  • Homemade Pie Crust (my recipe makes 2 crusts; 1 for bottom 1 for top)
  • 4 and 1/2 cups halved pitted fresh cherries*
  • 2/3 cup (135g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (28g) cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (it's delicious!)
  • 1 Tablespoon (14g) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon (15ml) milk
  • optional: coarse sugar for sprinkling on crust

Equipment

Directions:

  1. My #1 tip? Keep the dough, filling, and prepared (unbaked) pie as cold as you can at all times. Refrigerate (or freeze) the prepared pie before baking for up to 1 hour. Refrigerate the filling before you need it. Keep everything cold cold cold-- always.
  2. The crust: Prepare my pie crust recipe through step 5.
  3. Make the filling: In a large bowl, stir the cherries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla, and almond extract together until thoroughly combined. Set filling aside in the refrigerator as the oven preheats. This gives the filling a chance to rest.
  4. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
  5. Roll out the chilled pie dough: On a floured work surface, roll out one of the discs of chilled dough (keep the other one in the refrigerator). Turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9x2 inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is smooth. Spoon the filling into the crust and discard any leftover juices in the bottom of the bowl. Dot the pieces of butter on top of the filling.
  6. Arrange the lattice: Remove the other disc of chilled pie dough from the refrigerator. Roll the dough into a circle that is 12 inches diameter. Using a pastry wheel, sharp knife, or pizza cutter, cut strips of dough-- I cut four strips 2 inches wide and two strips 1 inch wide. Carefully thread the strips over and under one another, pulling back strips as necessary to weave. (See video above!) Press the edges of the strips into the bottom pie crust edges to seal. Use a small paring knife to trim off excess dough. Flute or crimp the edges with a fork, if desired.
  7. Lightly brush the top of the pie crust with the egg wash. Sprinkle the top with coarse sugar, if using.
  8. Place the pie onto a large baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Keeping the pie in the oven, turn the temperature down to 375°F (190°C) and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes. After the first 20 minutes of bake time, I place a pie crust shield on top of the pie to prevent the edges from browning too quickly.
  9. Allow the pie to cool for 3 full hours at room temperature before serving. This time allows the filling to thicken up. Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Make ahead tip/freezing: A couple ways to make ahead of time! Make 1 day in advance-- after it cools, cover tightly and keep at room temperature. The pie crust dough can also be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Baked pie also freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving. Prepared fillings can also be frozen up to 3 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

Recipe Notes:

*About 1.5 lbs of cherries. You can use any variety-- I use a combination of dark sweet and rainier. If using sour cherries, increase sugar to 3/4 or 1 cup depending how sweet you like it. I do not suggest using frozen cherries. The filling will turn out quite liquid-y and soupy.

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

SHOP THE RECIPE

Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

Cherry Pitter | Rolling Pin | Pie Dish | Pastry Blender | Pastry BrushesEat Dessert First Fork

Learn how to make the best homemade cherry pie from scratch! With a buttery flaky pie crust and juicy cherry filling, this is the essential summer dessert! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Learn how to make the best homemade cherry pie from scratch! With a buttery flaky pie crust and juicy cherry filling, this is the essential summer dessert! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

76 comments

  1. Do you have any suggestions? My hubby loves cherry pie, one of his all-time favorites. He buys the Costco cherry pie whenever he can, but it’s too sweet for me. I liked your recipe and the pictures looked amazing. I used your recipe and made it for the July 4th weekend. First, thank you for the crust recipe. It is one of the best I’ve made. The crust was buttery and flaky without being greasy and will go into my “starred” recipe list. Very tasty! For my pie, I used ripe black cherries that I found at our local farmer’s market. The pie turned out beautiful, just like your pictures. When it came to the taste test, my husband was not impressed. He felt the cherries were not soft enough and “too hard.” I think he prefers canned cherries, but I don’t want to go there. Any suggestions? Should I cook the cherries a bit before filling the pie crust? Or try a different cherry? Thanks for all your recipes and your website.

    • Hi Russell! I’m so glad that you enjoyed this pie and the pie crust, too! For the husband stamp of approval, I would try cooking down the cherries first. However, the pie may be a little more juicy that way so keep that in mind. But it sounds like that is what he wants anyway!

  2. I made this for our 4th of July dessert and it is delicious! The hubby loved it. I will never use canned cherry filling again! Thanks Sally!

  3. Sally, Sally, Sally!!!

    When this came through my email I got very excited as cherry pie, well cherry anything really, I my favorite. However, I have never been a pie maker. I was convinced at a very young age that I would never be able to make a pie from scratch. My mom had an awful time making them and thought I had inherited that gene. Conversely, my dad loves to make pies. Strawberry rhubarb is his favorite. After reading the recipe. That I might be able to do it so I gathered the all the ingredients and began on my way. Thankfully, a cute boy invited me out for drinks after I made my crust so this was the perfect opportunity to let the crust chill! When I returned home with a fresh gin and tonic glow, I pitted the cherries, made the filling, rolled out the crust, and cut the lattice. Everything was going perfectly… I couldn’t believe it! After a baked it look gorgeous and I let it sit overnight in anticipation of taking it to work the next day.

    Sally, this is the best cherry pie I have ever put in my face. Ever! People at the office were absolutely raving and frankly I was raving as well. I even saved the slice for the cute boy!

    Thank you for instilling pie-making confidence in this girl!

    • This whole story made my day– you are the BEST for coming back to let me know how well you did. Congrats on conquering your pie fears!!! This is so wonderful!!! 🙂
      Now you have to try strawberry rhubarb pie for your dad. Because you’re a pro at lattice now!

      • Oh, I was just looking at that one. Definitely on the short list. All I want to do is bake pies now!! Living in Montana (after moving from Baltimore) find myself often camping. What…a treat this (and the strawberry rhubarb) would be fireside with an assist from a pie iron! #latticeforever

  4. I made this for my family’s fourth of July party and it was a hit! My mom said that it was hands down the best cherry pie she has ever eaten. My grandma who doesn’t even like cherry pie ate a whole slice too. Keep the delicious recipes coming!

  5. Like many people I am intimidated with making my own pie crust. Besides hating my small apartment with little to no workspace I;m not sure why I have such a hard time of it. Going to try to attempt a from scratch pie crust again and mentally tell myself I wont fail haha

    • Let me know how it goes! Remember to stay patient, don’t overwork the dough, and keep it as cold as possible 🙂

  6. Oh Sally I am terrified of making pies, no one eats it in my house I’m afraid it will waste and i’ll mess it up 🙁 even though you made it look super easy. I think I’ll give the fresh peach cobbler a go instead, I should be able to make half the recipe without messing it up right?
    Hope you’re well.

  7. Hello Sally, I’m new to baking and was confused about something that is different about your recipe. I’ve looked all over the Internet for a good pie recipe and I found I like yours the most, I really like how you really get down and explain how everything works, but I’ve noticed almost every other recipe says that one should cook the cherries on the stove first and then put them in the oven. I was wondering why your recipe doesn’t call for that. 
    Thank you for posting this awesome recipe and I hope you’re having a wonderful day.

    • I don’t really prefer super soft cherries in pie, so that’s why I skip it. If you prefer otherwise– absolutely try cooking them first. The filling will be much more liquid-y.

  8. Hi Sally,
    I know you mention this in the tips, but I just want to clarify for myself. I can prepare the cherry pie filling and freeze it? I want to make this but I am going on vacation next week so I thought I could make the crust and filling and freeze them and then put it all together when I get back.

    Thank you!

  9. Hi Sally, I’ve tried so many of your recipes and love them all! I made the pie and it was delicious, however, the coarse sugar on my crust burned a little. I followed the recipe exactly and the baking times you gave. Don’t know why this happened.

  10. I made flag pie and it turned out perfectly but when I made the crust for this pie I don’t think that I added enough water.  Is there any way to correct this mistake if you don’t catch it until you start rolling it out?  I think I will need to practice more

    • Hi Taylor! You can moisten your finger and press the dough down to try to work a little more moisture in. I’m glad you had luck with the crust the other time you tried it! It really does take practice.

  11. Hi Sally! I’m a huge fan of your recipes and I’ve made of a bunch of them! Tried this pie last night and did a combination of cherries and blueberries but the filling never set. Other than subbing half blueberries, I followed the recipe exactly but it is still very watery even after sitting overnight. Any ideas what might have happened? 

  12. I made this pie and my filling seems to have not set up right because it was very juicy and al the juices ran out when I cut and served it. Any ideas? I believe I followed the recipe and all instructions. The only thing g j can think of is when I put the filling in there was no liquid left in the bowl. Should there have been? It was just powdery stuff like sugar and cornstarch left in the bowl and so I scooped. It out and put it in the pie. Other than the runny juices, we really enjoyed the pie. 

    • Hi Layla, Next time you make it try using a slotted spoon to scoop the filling into the crust and discard some of the leftover juices in the bottom of the bowl. This should help!

  13. This turned out amazing!  The crust is so good – I’m so inspired to make all the pies now! 

  14. I found the filling to be too wet- the sweet dark and rainier cherries I used released a lot of juice as they cooked, which I was afraid of. I waited a full three hours to cut the pie. I definitely used the 1/4 cup of cornstarch. The next time I made the pie, I followed America’s Test Kitchen’s idea and blended the cherries and sugar together, waited one hour, then drained the lot and reserved 1/4 cup juice. I then added that back in with the cornstarch, lemon juice and extracts. Others pictures posted look like the bakers had a nice filling that wasn’t too soggy, but mine was.

    I loved the crust recipe, though I substituted lard for the shortening.

  15. I loved your cherry pie! The only other pies I’ve made were ricepudding pies and strawberry-puddingpies, both of which require blind baking before filling it up. Cherry pies are one of my favorite pies to eat, but I never dared to tackle them. Thank you so much for the recipe!

    I have one question though: it seems that my cherries were a bit too juicy. After baking and a 3,5hrs cooldown, it was still fluid inside. The bottom and sides were sturdy enough, luckily, but I was wondering what I could do to make the filling more stiff? I followed your instructions to the T. 

    • I’m so glad you made my cherry pie and enjoyed it! My only suggestion would be to slightly cut back on the cherries but keep all of the other ingredients the same (including cornstarch).

  16. This pie was absolutely amazing!!! I just love cherry with almond flavor, so summery and sweet! Also, I must say that I will never use a different pie crust recipe again! This one was so perfect, none of the other crusts I’ve tried even come close. And I’m pretty proud of myself with the top crustof this pie. I’ve never been able to get it to look good, and this time I did so well (if I can pat myself on the back lol) 

  17. Made this for my family today and they loved it! I’ve always felt all butter crusts are the way to go… but I decided to just follow your recipe and not make any substitutions – delicious!! The almond extract also adds an interesting flavour to the pie that I actually really enjoyed. Great recipe, definitely one for the keeps pile. 🙂

  18. It took a couple of tries, but I finally nailed this recipe! It’s SO delicious. The almond extract and the citrus are amazing – I LOVE this recipe. Thanks for the hard work, Sally. Recipe testing makes all the difference! And thanks for working so hard during your pregnancy so you can keep posting during your maternity leave, I don’t know what I would do without you this fall!

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